C’est quoi un Hipster?

“What’s a hipster?” This is a question I was faced with recently when I said that my rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood is full of hipsters. I admit that I had a hard time answering; I think I may have mumbled something about oversized eyeglasses, beards, and being “cool”. My friend lives [blissfully unaware] in the country, but if you live in any kind trendy urban setting, then you see hipsters everywhere and you can’t help but situate yourself in relation to that (Sure, I listen to Wolf Parade, but I’m totally not a hipster… not that there’s anything wrong with that).

The first time I recall hearing the word was in 2006 while living in Montreal. My roommate (there is a very short window of time during which I went back to having a roommate, so I can pinpoint the year) was telling me about a cool bar in the Mile End area where the music was good. “But it’s all hipsters in tight jeans and sneakers”, he said. I didn’t need to ask him what he meant; I’d been to Mile End, I knew EXACTLY who he was talking about.

Stylist Lorraine Binie Kinnear

It’s almost 2013 now and, still, the hipster endures. I asked Google — What comes after hipster? Google told me to read this very interesting article but, really, Google didn’t have any concrete answers. Because hipster style relies on cultural references and irony rather than on an ethos for its aesthetic, I suppose it can keep going as long as ever more obscure and/or unintentionally hilarious pop culture references continue to be unearthed. Once hipsters become earnest and admit they just really bloody love moustaches, not because of the clever nod to the cartoonish 1970s image of virile masculinity they represent, but because they just like the way it makes their face look, then the hipster will be over.

I think it could happen. Come on eager enthusiastic hipsters!!! It must really be exhausting to try and evaluate everything’s coolness and cultural currency all the time. It must be hard to be so constantly judgy (says hyper-judgy Brenda). The only time I went out on a date with a hipster, he asked what was on my iPod’s most played list. I warned him there would be a lot of cheesy dance songs. Then I looked at the list and told him about the Lady Gaga, the Rihanna, the Prince, and the Michael Jackson. His response? “That’s not THAT bad.” Gee, thanks dude. I didn’t comment on the overly casual vintage t-shirt he was wearing because, obviously, by putting genuine effort into looking cute, I had broken the first rule of Hipsterclub which is “Don’t appear to be trying too hard, or to care too much”.

I love looking at Green Wedding Shoes, a blog that features lots of hipster weddings

But I think it’s time to care. Have you hugged a hipster today? Compliment a hipster on the time and effort it took them to do something. Ask them to talk about something that’s really important in their lives. Ask them what they’re sincerely passionate about.

And have yourself a very happy Movember!


  1. Have you read this article?
    Also talks about Hipsters and irony.

    • Yes! Thanks for posting that Melissa. I read it a couple of times and I think she makes a bunch of really valid points. And I especially love that she challenges readers to look at their own behaviour. Being sincere feels risky emotionally, but the rewards are so amazing.

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